Can Narcissists Learn Empathy?

By Mike Bundrant

In a recent study, researchers from the University of Southampton and the University of Surrey have attempted to find out whether patients suffering from narcissism can learn to show empathy for another person’s suffering.

Their study, which is being published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, has shown that it may be possible.

husband's attitudeOne of the main hallmarks of narcissism is a lack of empathy for others. This has a negative effect on their personal relationships, social interaction, and social behaviors. In most cases, this is because their lack of empathy means that they are unconcerned with the effect their actions have on others.

For this study, researchers chose to focus on patients who exhibit subclinical narcissism. This diagnosis is given to patients who are psychologically healthy while still exhibiting some narcissistic traits. This form of narcissism is more common than narcissistic personality disorder.

To examine whether narcissists could be capable of empathizing with another person’s suffering, they asked study participants to read an excerpt describing the break up of a relationship. No matter how severe the hypothetical scenario was, high-narcissists did not show any empathy for the subject. This was true even in situations where the subject of the excerpt suffered overwhelming depression.

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Take the Quiz:
Are You Attracting Rejection?

By Mike Bundrant

enlighten-me-surveys_banner

Enlighten-Me Surveys, sponsored by the iNLP Center, has just released a new quiz – the Rejection Attraction quiz.

This 12-question quiz will assess how susceptible you are to rejection, low self-esteem and low self-confidence.

If you’ve ever wondered:

Am I setting myself up for rejection?
Why do I feel like I don’t belong?
Why can’t I say no?
Why do I care so much what others think?
Why do I criticize myself so much?
Why do I always expect myself to be perfect?

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Attached to Rejection:
A Psychological Syndrome

By Mike Bundrant

For several years at the iNLP Center now we’ve been developing the structure of what we call an Attachment to Rejection.

Understanding this psychological syndrome has been helping people who harbor feelings of rejection, hurt, humiliation, social anxiety, low self-worth and a variety of self-limiting beliefs.

Most interestingly, the insights that come with understanding this model tend to lead to behavioral change, which is very encouraging. It seem that this syndrome operates unconsciously. Bringing it into conscious awareness usually creates an aha moment. New choices come to mind thereafter.

Until now, we’ve only taught about the rejection attachment in our paid course, the AHA Solution. Recently, we’ve begun a new project to publish a clear structure of the syndromes, beginning with rejection.

It’s a work in progress. As we learn more about chronic feelings of rejection and low self-worth, we’ll update our findings. For now, you can view the explanation, signs, symptoms and unconscious workings of the rejection attachment on the following page:

Attachment to Rejection

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What is Self-Love?

By Mike Bundrant

What is self-love?To better understand self-love, let’s compare it to what it is NOT.

The contrast may be clarifying and lead to choices that make self-love a greater possibility for you and me.

Self-love is not self-centeredness or narcissism.

These are antithetical to self-love.

When you love yourself, you understand that you are not just a person, but a person among other people. You get that others are people just like you, with similar wants, needs, hopes, dreams, struggles and challenges.

So, you live your life working to balance your needs with theirs. This is not always an obvious or easy thing to do. Yet, you work at it anyway if you love yourself.

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Three Things NOT to Say to Yourself Unless They Are True

By Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is a retired mental health counselor, practicing personal coach, co-founder of the iNLP Center, co-author of the AHA Solution and author of Your Achilles Eel.

virtualquestionNegative self-talk is one of the most popular forms of self-torture. To one degree or another, we all have to deal with it.

Some ways of dealing with negative self-statements are better than others. In this post, I’d like to show you how to deal with inner negativity by discovering if what you say to yourself is actually true.

And it may be. That’s not a problem at all. The point is to think one level deeper and stop reacting spontaneously to whatever thoughts go off in your mind.

Here are three examples of things you may say to yourself that you can question and begin to weed out the truth.

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Majority Choose Painful Shocks Over Being Alone with Thoughts

By Mike Bundrant

Do you enjoy sitting alone with nothing but your own thoughts? Or does your mind act more like a personal torture chamber?

Second hand stressA series of 11 Harvard studies has yielded some very interesting findings. First and foremost is this: the majority of people in the study chose to self-inflict painful electric shock over sitting with nothing but their own thoughts for a mere 15 minutes.

These weren’t mild shocks, either. In fact, they were so painful that every single one of the study participants would pay money to escape them. It’s confusing. But the results speak for themselves.

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Survey On Instant Gratification: Please Take It Here

By Mike Bundrant

Special thanks to:

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You are invited to participate in research on the motivation behind instant gratification.

Click here to take this brief survey. Average completion time is just two minutes.

Learn about your subconscious motivation for instant gratification as you answer the 12 questions. And contribute to the body of knowledge!

In plain English, what is instant gratification?

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10 Signs You Haven’t Adjusted to Life Outside the Womb

By Mike Bundrant

Life outside the womb is pretty good, but it doesn’t come with certain benefits that – let’s face it – we all miss.

For example, outside the womb we aren’t hooked to a magical tube that instantly satisfies our every physical need before we even feel the lack. And there is no warm, everlastingly protective cushion that surrounds us 24/7.

life outside womb

Beyond that, there are other people out here! And traffic sucks.

Still, here we are. Mature people learn to adjust to reality, but there’s no guarantee that these all important adjustments will occur all by themselves.

How’s it going for you?

To help out, here are 10 signs that you need to adjust to life on the outside

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One Night of Sleep Deprivation Leads to Increased Food Purchases

By Mike Bundrant

When you have been sleep deprived for just one night, you are more likely to experience a greater hunger for food the following day. You will also be subject to impulsive food buying, according to a new study out of Sweden.

Alarm clock insomnia

A study by the Obesity Society, which was published in the Journal of Obesity, found that there were higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger, in those who had been sleep deprived for a day. Those who had gotten a full night’s sleep had much lower levels of ghrelin.

In the study, the researchers hypothesized that there would be an impact on higher functioning decisions and self-control when shopping for food at a supermarket. Those who were sleep deprived would feel this impact and therefore be more likely to make calorie driven food choices while shopping.

The study indeed found that the sleep deprived subjects purchased more calories and grams of food than they did after having a full night’s sleep. Despite the subjects having a standardized breakfast before shopping during their sleep deprived state and their normal state, the grocery shopping done while sleep deprived resulted in a +9% and +18% increase in purchase of calories and grams of food, respectively.

We’ve heard many times that sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain. This study shows how poor sleep translates into high calorie food purchases, which is a key part in the cycle.

Need to lose weight? Focus on getting better sleep. Here’s how:

It’s easy to suggest sleeping better, but very difficult to pull off if you are the one lying in bed at night, tossing and turning. When your busy mind has a mind of it’s own, it is not necessarily open to suggestion.

This is why you may benefit from learning about your brain’s Default Mode Network (DMN).

The Default Mode Network is the area in the brain that is responsible for ‘self-referential thoughts’ (autopilot thinking). When you are not consciously engaged, your default mode activates. This is when the brain generates thoughts and feelings on its own. When you lie in bed at night, hoping to drift off into slumber, the DMN is active.

And thus begins the swirling, obsessive and even exciting thoughts that ultimately keep you awake much longer than you can afford. Restlessness is the result. People in this situation would give anything to “turn off their mind.’

Amazingly, you can do just that. Researchers have proven via fMRI scans that the DMN can be deactivated. And it does not require special equipment, medical supervision or years of practice. This revolutionary finding was reported in the March 2010 edition of Scientific American Magazine in an article called The Brain’s Dark Energy.

Best of all, the DMN has profound practical implications for insomniacs who cannot turn off their autopilot, overactive mind once their head hits the pillow. A few specialized cognitive activities that disengage the DMN prior to sleep have proven to be a dream come true for thousands.

To learn how to turn off your mind and get some rest, check out the iNLP Center’s online program called Sleep Switch. This program utilizes simple and effective activities that are proven to switch OFF the Default Mode Network so you can fall sleep quickly and naturally.

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7 Sure Signs that Life is
Calling you to Grow

By Mike Bundrant

crossroad at dawn in rural landscapeThe scariest thing about a crossroad in life isn’t the risk of making a change.

Crossroads are all important times in life when the opportunity to grow is at its highest. And it really can be intimidating. These are times when everything we’ve invested into life seems to be on the line.

But there is something even scarier to those on the path of true growth. It’s that you might miss a turn. You could just cruise right by a critical intersection and not even recognize the opportunity.

Living on autopilot is dangerous because there will come an inevitable day of regret. That day when you realize it’s too late to turn back and do what you were meant to do in life. And…you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.

It’s terrifying and sobering at the same time.

So, the number one resource in your tool kit must be self-awareness. Radical, courageous self-awareness. You’ve got to recognize the signs that life is calling you to make a change; to discover your decision points so that you can shape your destiny in the most constructive manner possible.

The Most Important Crossroad Of All

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